Fat, calories and calories from fat
Calories from fat are powerful source of energy. Fats are needed for the synthesis of nervous tissue. Calories from fat may be burned or accumulated in fat cells. Fat keeps the body warmth and protects internal organs, bones and the nerves. Fats are needed to assimilate vitamins A, D, E, and K because these vitamins are fat soluble. Disproportionate consumption of fats and calories from fat may result in obesity, diabetes, heart affections and many other medical conditions.
Varieties of fat and calories from fat
In spite of the fact that all fat varieties share the similar amounts of calories from fat, the role of different types of fats for health may differ.
- Saturated fats remain solid at room temperature. These fats are rather unhealthy because they increase the level of blood cholesterol. Among the foods with large amounts of saturated fat are butter, margarine, cheese, coconut and palm oils.
- Hydrogenated vegetable oils contain trans-fatty acids that may increase blood cholesterol. Crackers, French fried potatoes, doughnuts, and cookies often contain trans-fats. Low concentrations of trans-fat may be detected in dairy products and meat.
- Unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature and may lower blood cholesterol. Saturated and polyunsaturated fats as well as calories from fat of these origins should compose approximately 10-15% of caloric consumption.
- Monounsaturated fats increase the level of useful cholesterol that protects the blood vessels from atherosclerotic plaques and in moderate amounts these fats can become a part of salutary diet. Monounsaturated fats are detected in olives, olive and canola oils, nuts and their oils, and avocados.
- Polyunsaturated fats are of plant and fish origin. Beneficial reservoirs of polyunsaturated fats and useful sources of calories from fat are represented by soy, sunflower, corn, and sesame oils as well as fish such as salmon and tuna.
How to consume calories from fat rationally
Some quantities of calories from fat are needed on daily basis. However, fats must be consumed in moderate and rational amounts. Nutritionists recommend getting most of daily calories from fat of unsaturated type and limiting saturated and trans-fats. The majority of specialists insist on limiting the calories from fat to 30% of total daily caloric intake. Ten percent of that amount of calories from fat should be of saturated types. To understand better what one gram of fat means, it is easier to imagine a teaspoon of fat. It is known that one gram of fat contains 9 calories from fat. A teaspoon contains 4 grams of fat and so is equal to 32 calories from fat. Nutritionists point out that high-fat food contains much more calories from fat than protein or carbohydrate food. Children and teenagers must get no more than 25% – 35% of calories from fat. Nutritionists warn that sometimes, even if the food is low in calories from fat, it does not protect from gaining weight. The case is that the low-fat and no-fat foods may contain sufficient amounts of calories to gain weight. Therefore, overweight people must keep the servings and calories from fat under strict control. Those who want to get rid of excessive fat stores and burn their calories from fat must exercise on a regular basis. Any physical activity that increases muscular mass improves burning of excessive calories from fat.
How to interpret calories from fat on food labels
Everybody must know the amount of calories from fat he or she gets. Serving sizes of various foods differ and so as to understand the number of calories from fat consumed it is good to know information on the food labels. For example, fat-free foods must contain no more than 0.5 grams of fat per portion and low-fat foods contain 3 grams of fat. Reduced-fat and light foods may contain more calories from fat that fat-free and low-fat foods. According to the rules, reduced fat foods must contain 25% less fat per portion than the usual food type. The light food must contain 50% less fat or 1/3 fewer calories from fat per portion than the usual type of the food.
Reasonable approaches to the intake of calories from fat
Overweight people must restrict the consumption of calories from fat. This improves metabolism and permits to broaden the diet. At the same time, keeping to healthy weight means choosing low in fat and sugar diets. Nutritionists recommend substituting foods containing too much sugar, fat, and calories with more adequate diets for weight loss. Understanding of calories from fat is beneficial only for those who prefer the balanced diet. Creating of reasonable eating attitude, sensible choice of foods, and regular, healthy exercise are the pillars of good health.